Saturday, May 11, 2013

Art emerges as a bankable tangible asset class

With the international art market gathering momentum, art as a tangible asset class is drawing more attention of wealth managers; they are emphasizing on the concept, providing the thrust to a new domain of professional services, blending finance and art.

This, in fact, remains one of the key findings of the latest ‘Art & Finance’ study report, released by Deloitte Luxembourg done in collaboration with ArtTactic. The report throws light on the development of this specialized branch over the past year or so. Importantly, what it shows is that clients treat art as a passion plus a secure financial investment, marking a gradual convergence in the key art market stakeholders’ motivation and interests.

Where is India in all this vast churning? The country’s share in art market (worth more than $60 billion) is estimated to be $250 million or even less than a percent. But it’s on a marked upswing, rising by leaps and bounds in the last decade or so. Dr. Rana Kapoor, the founder, MD and CEO of Yes Bank, stated in a recent column in the Economic Times that its vast scope for growth makes this indeed an opportune time for creating a knowledge-based approach wherein financial institutions, the art industry and the government can create infrastructure so as to propagate the concept of art as a long-term viable investment.

Meanwhile, the auction market of India continued its upward trajectory, with sales going up almost 27 percent, according to the latest survey by the research agency. After managing to reverse the broader negative market trend, the recent sales for Sotheby’s, Saffronart and Christie’s produced an encouraging season of extremely positive results, especially for Christie’s and Sotheby’s with impressive sales and volume growth, among the highest in the last several quarters. This is clearly indicative of the increasing appreciation of art’s core asset value in India and internationally.

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